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Meet the 2015 Earth Science team

Introducing the inaugural 2015 International Earth Science Olympiad team who will compete in Poços de Caldas Brazil from 13 to 20 September.

Timothy Hume

Tim hails from Mansfield Secondary College in Victoria and describes himself as being interested in all areas of science “but particularly passionate about particle physics”.

He would like to pursue further studies in this area, which probably has something to do with his role model Richard Feynman. Tim is also into evolutionary biology and atmospheric science: “I find it fascinating to study the interactions between earth processes and living organisms, as well as the impact humans have on evolution and the environment.” He enjoys skiing, playing and umpiring basketball, astronomy for fun, and has climbed Fansipan in Vietnam.
“Every stage of the Australian Science Olympiad offers vast benefits: the qualifying exams will intensively develop your problem solving skills to give you an edge in your studies at school, while the Summer School and International Olympiads are competitive programs, which will enhance your passion for science and extend your knowledge of your scientific discipline.”
“I am especially looking forward to the International Team Field Investigation at IESO in Brazil – conducting field investigations in an environment dissimilar to Australia and engaging with an international network of students and scientists is going to be brilliant.”

Tim was one of 24 students recently awarded the prestigious Tuckwell Scholarship to study at the Australian National University.

Sacha Mann

Sacha, one of three girls on the 2015 team for the International Earth Science Olympiad, looks to all female scientists as role models, but she particularly “admire[s] women in the fields of physics and maths, who stand proudly in their departments and encourage other women to do also.”

This Girton Grammar School student from Bendigo, Victoria, admits that “puns that rock” are her secret weapon for the tough exams in Brazil: “just wait while I dig something up… I suppose geology is pretty gneiss!” In her spare time, Sacha likes debating, playing hockey and spending time with her whippet, Stanley.

Beyond high school, she hopes to become a research scientist who is “boundlessly optimistic, curious and can inspire a fascination about the world when communicating with even the most reticent of audiences.”
“I had so much fun at Summer School – it was amazing to discover an entirely new discipline! If you are contemplating sitting the Australian Science Olympiad Exams, just go for it, you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, and potentially an incredible experience to gain!

Jade Pham

Jade is from James Ruse Agricultural High School in Sydney and is eager to “step out of [her] comfort zone”, both academically and personally in Poços de Caldas.

She is an adventurous opportunist, who has a go at mostly everything, including skydiving, archery, surfing, cycling, film making, swimming and playing clarinet. She also volunteers with community organisations such as museums.

When asked to name her favourite scientific discipline, Jade says it’s a tie between neuroscience and astronomy: “They are both wonderful. How much do we actually know about the brain? What about everything out there in the universe? The lack of things we know about these topics is what grasps my interest – you are able to keep asking yourself ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ and one day, hopefully find the answers to some of the I-don’t-knows.” Indeed, Jade’s favourite part of the Earth Science Olympiad program are “the astronomy practicals, where you actually get to go out in the field and try to find those wondrous heavenly bodies in the sky.”

“Women are equally as capable as men in the field of science. I’m also glad that we are seeing more and more women making a mark in science – a well-supported change in an area many consider to be ‘male-dominated’.”

Zoe Thompson

Zoe sat the Australian Science Olympiad Exam in Earth Science at Redlands School in Sydney as she was “looking for a greater challenge in science than regular classes.” Now she is off to Poços de Caldas in Brazil for the 2015 International Earth Science Olympiad.

Zoe likes the interdisciplinary nature of Earth science, which gives her the opportunity to do some chemistry and biology along the way.

She cites her maths teacher Dr Gabriel Chircu as a role model because “he is passionate about what he does and always believes that there is more to learn.” Extracurricular activities of Zoe’s include playing the flute and piccolo, being in the First XI soccer team at school, cross-country running, theatre sports and dancing.

“When I later got the phone call about [the Australian Science Olympiads] Summer School, I thought for a moment that they had the wrong person.

The experience and memories of summer school were amazing and ones I will never forget, and who knows, by sitting the Australian Science Olympiad Exams at school, you might end up visiting a foreign country!”

More information about the Australian Science Olympiad Competition.